The objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 can now be achieved only through rapid and far-reaching changes in all areas of society. The report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of the session in South Korea.
The Paris agreement aims to keep the temperature increase well below two degrees Celsius. As well to bring it closer to 1.5 degrees as compared with the pre-industrial temperature. Scientists in the report point out that warming by 1.5 degrees would have serious consequences. Warming by two degrees could be disastrous in many areas.
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“It is not possible to slow down warming without stopping the use of coal,” said Drew Shindell, a climatologist from Duke University.
“Reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees requires rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all areas of society,” says a report released two months before the climate summit in Katowice.
To achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, people, according to the IPCC report, would have to start changing their behavior, among other things, in energy, industry, construction, and transport. According to observers, the report is a “political wake-up call,” as the world is currently facing warming by three to four degrees.
“Report confirms the IPCC’s 2014 conclusion that keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial time means a radical worldwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions before 2030. According to the current report, a sustained increase in below- net zero by the middle of the century, “Radim Tolasz of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said.
“Part of the Paris Accord, signed in 2015, is the national emission reduction commitment that has not yet been achieved. The general optimism of the current IPCC report that can keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 ° C does not personally share, “adds Tolasz.
What scenario is real?
Research by nine dozen scientists has concluded that the temperature has risen by one degree since the pre-industrial era. By the end of the century it will increase by two more degrees, they said.
This would run counter to the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, in which more than 180 countries are committed to keeping global warming “well below” two degrees. What means “far below” turnover, the agreement does not specify, says the Financial Times. As much as possible, the average global temperature would grow by only 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times.
“It depends on every little warming. Warming up 1.5 degrees or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, “said Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group on Climate Change Impacts.
Scientists warn in the report about the effects of warming by 1.5 degrees and add that warming by two degrees would have far worse impacts on the planet. Two-degree warming would destroy coral reefs, but some would survive at 1.5 degrees. If the Earth were to rise by two and not by 1.5 degrees Celsius, waves would expose to 420 million more people. Ten million more would be affected by the rise in the world’s seas.
Ocean without ice
A situation where the Arctic Ice Ocean would be free of ice would occur in the case of warming by 1.5 degrees every hundred years, in the case of warming by two degrees but “at least once every decade”.
In order to reduce the warming to 1.5 degrees, the carbon dioxide emissions from humankind would have to be reduced by 45 percent, according to the report by 2030. By 2050, it would be necessary to achieve zero emissions. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air by man should therefore not exceed the amount exhausted from the atmosphere or which will disappear from it by natural processes. This would only be possible by removing hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It could be done, for example, by re-afforestation.
“There is evidence that droughts, floods, and heatwaves are coming in before it was originally foreseen,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, chief executive of the Ontario Institute for ClimateResearch.
Greenpeace International Director Jennifer Morgan described the climate as alarming. “The report outlined a plan for what the world could do – it’s a real-life plan,” she said. “The report sends a clear signal to politicians. Act now, because it’s almost too late,” Niklas Höhne of the Wageningen University of the Netherlands said.
Can the warming be kept below 1.5 degrees?
Asking whether keeping global warming to 1.5 ° C realistic is not a simple answer, according to the report. Achieving the goal is dependent on many conditions in terms of policy measures and their funding, institutional capacities, changes in human behavior and lifestyles, technological innovations, and others.
However, if there is a rapid and significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions in the next two decades, targets of 1.5 ° C are still achievable. The report also considers the possibility of so-called overshoot when first a higher temperature rise than 1.5 ° C, then but the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and with it the temperature again will be reduced due to the CO2 removal from the atmosphere. However, some changes are irreversible in this case (eg frozen ice is no longer freezing), and the effects of overshoot are not well mapped. So this is not an ideal solution.
The first reaction from the world
The European Commission, in response to the release of the report, said it would fight climate change and expect it from others. “All the parties have to step up their efforts concerning the promises made in the Paris agreement,” said Eurojust Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Carlos Moedas. “As there is no planet B, the rescue of our planet Earth should be a prime mission.” They added, reminding them that the commission intends to introduce a strategy in November to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Towards higher ambitions to combat climate change, the European Commission called for the Climate Action Network (CAN). It was in response to the UN report. “The eyes of everyone are now denying EU environmental ministers,” CAN said. Ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday. They will also discuss the upcoming climate summit in Poland.
Tightening of climate protection targets is rejected in the EU, for example, by Germany. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that the fight against warming the Earth could not waste time. “The following years are crucial for our planet to get out of balance,” she said.